Next up on our three-hour tour (well, more like four and a half or so…) is Sony. Unlike Microsoft, which I watched later, I saw this one firsthand as it happened live on Spike. Or was it G4? Well, somewhere.

Delving back into the full-disclosure bit: I do not own a Sony PlayStation 3. I have every other model of PlayStation prior, and I have friends and family who have it, but I never made the jump. Nothing against the system itself, but $599 U.S. dollars was a bit off-putting at the outset, and removing the backwards compatibility with the PlayStation 2 did no favors (if I’m not mistaken, it was actually around this point that we actually got our PS2 Slim).

Even after the price drop, between the Xbox 360 and Wii (and handhelds, and iPhone), there just wasn’t enough going on there to justify the purchase. From all my experiences, it’s a fine machine with some great games I would not mind playing; it’s just nothing that ever happened. Maybe if the PlayStation 4 doesn’t play PS3 games and costs the better part of a grand, we’ll look at getting one then.

Oh, and the Vita? Don’t have one of those, either. I’ve tried some demos, and it’s a very nice handheld (and playing ModNation Racers was more comfortable to me than Mario Kart 7, but there just isn’t enough there right now for me to take the plunge.

So, there we are. I like Sony well enough, but at the moment, I don’t own either of their active platforms. Will this year’s press conference reveal something that will turn the tide? Will I finally break?

Let’s find out!

Opening Montage – Interesting music choice… I think that’s dubstep? Funny, that: I’ve never met a person who admits to liking dubstep, but someone’s clearly buying it, and now we’re opening Sony’s E3 2012 press conference with it… unless I’m wrong and that’s something else. I’m indifferent either way.

After some games and shots of the system, they cut to a guy playing a game on a sofa in a dark room, his girlfriend having long since passed out from boredom. I thought this was the type of image we were trying to shed? Well, Nintendo was trying to shed, anyway… I guess Sony either didn’t get the memo, or doesn’t care. Maybe a lit room would be too “casual”?

Ugh, I’m sorry. I hate that term, and I’ll try not to use it again here if I can help it. Moving on…

I saw Grimlock. Five points to Gryffindor–er, Sony.

Lollipop Chainsaw, Epic Mickey 2, Dead or Alive 5, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed are four I’m into… sadly, I can get all three on other platforms. Sadly, that last one precludes LittleBigPlanet Racing as far as I’m concerned.

Beyond: Two Souls – Interesting looking movie, but what’s it doing at a video game show? Okay, I kid, but only by half; truth is, I’d probably rather watch it as a movie than play it as a game.

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale – This is actually one I would love to play. I love Super Smash Bros. games, and I think they’re going to do something interesting with this. I’ll probably get into this more another time, but I think they have the library to pull this kind of thing off for their audience, and would arguably be stupid not to make it. Doing something different isn’t always better– that’s how we wound up with Nintendo’s online plan for last generation– but taking a good idea and putting your own twist on it can be a good thing.

I also appreciate that they’re really acknowledging almost everything that PlayStation is (essentially being a spin-off of a Nintendo platform excluded, of course), from the third-party inclusion to digging up guys like Parappa the Rapper. Fingers are crossed that Kevin Butler gets to be the announcer and that Polygon Man is the final boss. After all, “U R not e,” right?

As an aside, when six people came out, I thought Sony was going to raise the stakes with a six-player game. Whoops, guess not.

PlayStation Network/PlayStation Plus – 200 new games coming, that’s cool. PlayStation Plus members get more free games, that’s also cool. PS one Classics coming to the Vita? Cool again. But it really sounds more like something for the people who are already in there with Sony’s products, so the appeal to me is limited.

Really, this segment seems more to serve to say “we’ve got stuff coming,” rather than actually detail very much of it. Lots of numbers, few specifics.

Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation – I think I touched on this with Xbox; Assassin’s Creed is something I should probably look into. I can’t say that this trailer alone has done anything more for me than anything else I’ve seen or read about the games over the past few years, but it is beginning to have something of a cumulative effect.

But until then? Nope, not sold yet…

Assassin’s Creed III – Same deal here. Of course, in this instance, I can just get the game on the Xbox 360 and be on my merry little way. And I might even do that; between this and Liberation, something about playing an assassin in the Revolutionary War has an unexpectedly stronger appeal to me than I would have imagined.

Far Cry 3 – See the Microsoft post for my thoughts on first-person shooters. That said, this is perhaps the prettiest one I can recall seeing.

PlayStation Move – I tried to check out a Move at a Sony Store, but the thing’s power was always drained, and the salesmen there didn’t seem particularly interested in convincing me of why I’d want one. That said, if I had one and it worked well, I’d probably play more first-person shooters…

Wonderbook – Sony at E3: “These guys aren’t so tough; I’ve got Wonderbook!” The press then hurls flaming comments at Sony, reducing Wonderbook to ash; cue Sony’s Homer Simpson scream.

But seriously, while they spent quite a bit more time with this than they probably should have, I’m all for anything which might get more kids to read a book. Personally speaking, however, I need no such aids, so I’m good (though the Harry Potter thing could be neat).

Also: Sony managed to keep a secret. Good for them! They get a treat. Pity it had to be something so few people cared about in the end.

HTC Smartphone Deal – One of my jobs is reviewing iPhone games, so I’m good for a phone. In addition, I have no idea if this setup is even available in Canada, so I’m skipping it.

God of War: Ascension – “God of War? More like God of Snore, am I right?”

Okay, I’m sorry for that one. God of War just doesn’t do a whole lot for me. For some reason, Kratos and company seem like they’d be at home in a 90’s adult-line comic book, and… yeah. Maybe if Kratos were played by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, I’d be more into it? He’d look about the same, at any rate.

Kratos 3:16, anyone? Anyone?

Well, if I ever use him in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale, you can count on me making him sound like the most redneck Greek god you’ve ever heard, and that’s the bottom line.

Anyway, my interest has only been mild in the past games, and so it is here. I’d play it if I had nothing else, but I’m not especially compelled by it.

…actually, all of this “Stone Cold” Kratos talk has made me more interested than I was, but that’s bound to be fleeting. What’s next?

The Last of Us – The final title shown by Sony this evening, and you know what? It’s a really good pick– I’m actually rather interested in this one. Not quite “I’ll buy the console to get this game” interested, but at least “if I get the console, this is near the top of my list.”

Don’t ask me why– I’m not even sure myself, especially as the censorship on the televised version of the press conference made the game sound like a test of the Emergency Broadcast System– but I am. If there’s anything which deters me, it’s that this game seems to rely on an element of stealth, and I seem to have the absolute worst luck at stealth in games. On the other hand, it doesn’t look like this guy fared too much better, but at least he has a hand…

And that’s pretty much it for Sony this year. I have to admit, they seemed to have a humbler demeanor than they did some years ago, and I like it. Rather than acting like they’re the best (though a little of that did come through when talking about their developers), it sounds like they’re striving to be the best, which is kind of a moving target, as goals go.

On another note: I wish we’d gotten another Kevin Butler keynote. Alas…

I’d say that Sony had a better showing than Microsoft, but not enough to make me feel like this is where I need to be. And I have to admit, after watching this conference and reading up on Sony, I began to wonder: Is this all there is? Is this gaming now? Is there no place left for me? Perhaps a touch melodramatic, but sometimes I do worry that there will come a point when my favorite pastime will pass me by, when that passion is no longer there.

So now, there is only one left…

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